Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Musings About Blogger - And Retail Department Stores

When I was young - back in the middle of the past century - I lived with my parents in rural Virginia. There were no real suburban areas then - just little towns with a an A&P or Piggly Wiggly for foods, Ben Franklin for toys and miscellaneous stuff, and Western Auto for auto parts and hardware. Sam Walton was just a kid then too, I guess.

Anyway, the nearest town was the nascent metropolis of Richmond. It had a real urban downtown - with a Miller & Rhoads, and a Thalheimers (both chains now owned, I think, by Macys or Saks). And in the suburbs, a K-Mart.

Now getting to Richmond was a couple hours of boredom on the country roads, and 2 hours in the car with my parents was like 6 hours nowadays - the car didn't have a radio, or air conditioning. But 1/2 hour outside the Richmond city limits was the K-Mart, and we would stop there first.

After 2 hours in the car, K-Mart was always our favourite stop. But, we were always picky about actually buying anything there. For quality clothes, and for toys when we could afford them, Mom preferred M&R. Why? Because in those days, the generally accepted truth was

K-Mart sells second quality merchandise - generally defective or surplus stock, bought cheap from M&R etc.

K-Mart was cheap, and convenient, but try returning something that didn't fit - or didn't work. For quality, we always went to M&R. Even though downtown was another 1/2 hour, parking was a pain, and the stores were dark and cavernous, and stank of perfume. So K-Mart was my favourite.

So what's all this to do with Blogger? Just this.

Blogger is the K-Mart of web services. Before Martha Stewart.

Blogger is big - I think at least 4,500 servers (my guess). One button publishing is convenient, you have to admit. And they are free. But try getting service, when you have a problem.

And one day, you too will have a problem. Bet on it.

  1. There is no contact for Blogger - just a Help Database, and a Help Form.
  2. You fill in the form, and dispatch it. Shortly thereafter, you get an email from Blogger, saying how sorry they don't have time to respond to you personally, and bidding you check:

    1. Blogger Knowledge database.
    2. Blogger Help database.
    3. Google Blogger Help forum.

  3. You then have the option (not always offered) of replying to the email, stating that no solution was found from any of the above references.
  4. And now you wait. If you like, you can join the crowd at Google Blogger Help forum, and ask, as they do:

    What can I do now? My blog is broken (I can't publish) (My friends can't view anything)...


And there you wait. Maybe one day, Pete will show up, respond to a few folks there, telling them to send in a problem report, and reminding them that he doesn't speak for Blogger - he's just a user like us.. And you wait some more.

One day, folks will start reporting that things are working. And eventually, your blog will work too. And one day, you MAY see an entry in Blogger Status.

NOTE: Both Blogger and K-Mart continue to grow, in spite of their (lack of) customer service. And in spite of the ways that they treat their employees.

>> Top

4 comments:

Rose DesRochers said...

Hmm, I didn't think his name was Pete.

Chuck said...

Search on "Pete Hopkins" at the
Google Blogger Help - Broken forum

Chris Miller said...

Same thing with Gmail. A while back, when I was trying to sign up, a storm took our computers out midway through the process. Therefore, I was stuck in a situation where my user name was taken by me, but I couldn't access it because I was never issued a password.

Point of the story: I tried to contact somebody at Google ... ANYBODY. It's impossible. Automated form after automated form, I go nowhere. Somehow I got a phone number, which I called and was lead through a series of ... yep, automated options. Man, it was great...

max said...

I HATE THEM.
THE INTERNET IS FINISHED. IT'S TIME FOR RADICALS TO SWITCH OFF THE COMPUTER AND GO BACK TO READING BOOKS. AS FOR THE MASSES THEY ARE DOOMED.